Chapter 11: Godless and Yet So Godly
The master said, “I have forgotten all. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what self-illumination is. I just pray to you to leave me in peace. I will never bother you again, but don’t disturb my business in other parts of the country. The only business I know is telling people, ‘I can give you salvation; you just come and follow me,’ knowing perfectly well that who is going to follow? - everybody has incomplete things to complete. But you are such a stubborn fellow that you dropped all that you were doing and simply went on following me!”
The story is significant. Jesus says, “Follow me and I will take you into the kingdom of God.” But is there any kingdom of God? In Buddhism there is no kingdom of God; in Jainism there is no existence of God. It is simply a hypothesis. And the people who followed Jesus were all illiterate, uneducated, coming from the lowest strata of society - fishermen, farmers, woodcutters, carpenters.He himself was the son of a carpenter. He himself was not educated, not cultured, not civilized. Not a single rabbi of his day, not a single learned person, not a single wise man followed him. The people who followed were following him out of greed.
A fisherman cannot hope that on his own he can enter into the kingdom of God - and this man is not asking for much money, he is simply saying, “Follow me.” Just following him there is no harm, and the promise is great. They were not in love with Jesus.
Even in the last hours before Jesus was caught they were asking him, “Soon you will be reaching to the kingdom of God” - because it was known that he would be crucified. “Before you leave us we want to know.of course your place will be exactly at the right hand of God. You are the only begotten son of God - but what will be the place of your twelve disciples? Who will be next to you?”
Do you see their mind? Do you see their greed? Do you see their ambition? And what have they done? Just hanging around Jesus, and they have become capable of entering into the kingdom of God. Now they are asking what their position will be. They must have been feeling jealous of each other - “Who will be next to Jesus?” And when Jesus was crucified all the twelve apostles had escaped - great followers - just out of fear that they may be recognized as Jesus’ followers, because they were always hanging around him wherever he was going. Those twelve fellows were always with him; everybody knew them - they may be caught. If Jesus is crucified, the same may happen to them.
They all escaped. They forgot all about the kingdom of God, they forgot all about following Jesus Christ. And those twelve cowards who left the master hanging on the cross have become the twelve great prophets of Christianity.
A whole religion is created on the words of those twelve cowards. Jesus cannot save anyone - he could not save himself. At the last moment on the cross, in deep frustration, he shouted at the sky because he was waiting for some miracle to happen, and nothing was happening. And people were laughing, joking, making a fool of him: “This is the only begotten son of God. Now call your father to save you.”
Finally, he shouted, “Father, why have you forsaken me?”
Even his trust was not total, even he was full of doubt that perhaps God had forsaken him and that’s why no miracle was happening.